Thursday, 31 May 2012

Skillet Sausage and Squash

I was going to call this one Spanish Sausage and Squash, but honestly, there's very little that is authentically Spanish in this recipe.  It IS, however, pure comfort food.  Stick-to-the-ribs food.  And sausage was on sale at the grocery store, not chorizo, but hot italian.  Now, if I put one more meal on the table with cauliflower this week, the kids were going to kill me, so I thought shredded squash was a better idea if I wanted to live through this week.  Besides, little secret, squash cooks down and its flavour completely disappears in tomato sauce.  If you have a sometimes orange-vegetable-adverse family like I do, this is one of those places to get it into them with minimal struggle.  Ok, this, and in chili.  Squash is awesome in chili.  And OMG, squash fries...  My parents are killing themselves laughing at me right now.  I HATED squash growing up.  I hated ALL orange vegetables except raw carrots and peppers.  I'm over that now.  Mostly.  Just don't feed me mashed squash or carrots.  Mashing them is a sin, and besides, it's just gross unless it's dessert food.

I googled "spanish spices" and apparently they include paprika, cayenne, oregano, and thyme, but then also cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and saffron.  Hmmm.  Where to begin, and what to include?  The answer?  Include whatever tastes good.  Throw the rules away.  When all else fails, return to rule #1 of paleo cooking; you take some meat, a veggie or two, throw it in a pan with some spices, and you eat it.  This recipe looks like a lot, but its not.  Its ready in a half hour.  There's just a lot of spices, and you can add or delete any that you don't like or don't have.  Maybe you have saffron.  I didn't.  That stuff is expensive.

Feeds 5-6
Ready in 1/2 hour


2 lbs sausage, whatever kind you like
2 cloves garlic
1/3 spanish onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 c butternut squash, peeled, cored and shredded
2 (5 0z) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 c chicken broth
fat of choice for cooking
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste


Prep everything.  The food processor is your best friend.  Have all your veggies chopped and/or shredded.  Chop your sausage into bite-sized chunks.  Have your tomato paste open and waiting.  Measure out the chicken broth.  Pull out your spices.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat.  When hot, add cooking fat and saute onions and garlic until fragrant and onion is translucent, add green pepper and saute for another minute or two.  Add all other ingredients, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until sausage is cooked through.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

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